You’re next

“It was a world of exhaustion, heat, mud, mildew, rot, and few pleasures. You peed into a large tube fashioned from the metal shipping canisters that had brought artillery rounds from The World. You ate powdered eggs and powdered potatoes and drank powdered milk. The water tasted like medicine, and the Kool-Aid tasted like fruit-flavored medicine. Artillery Hill roared, and helicopter blades constantly chopped at the humid air. You couldn’t get clean. You couldn’t get rested. You grew accustomed to all that; but you never grew accustomed to working on trucks with bloodied seats and giant holes torn in their floorboards. You never grew accustomed to the chatter of a nearby machine gun, or long hours on a guard post, peering into the rain and fog, wondering if a tiny form had crawled through the wire and was behind you preparing to slit your throat. You couldn’t grow accustomed to the fear. There was a war all around, and you knew one of these days it was going to ride into town like a gunfighter dressed in black. How would you react? Would you survive? In one piece? Every second brought you nearer to it. How would you die? Loved ones were far, far away.” – John Ketwig, …and a hard rain fell

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